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Easington Colliery shown within County Durham
|OS grid reference|
|Civil parish||Easington Colliery|
|Unitary authority||County Durham|
|Ceremonial county||County Durham|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Fire||County Durham and Darlington|
|EU Parliament||North East England|
Easington Colliery is a former coal mining town in County Durham, in England. It is situated to the north of Horden, and a short distance to the east of Easington Village. The town is known for a mining accident or disaster which occurred, on 29 May 1951 when an explosion in the mine resulted in the deaths of 83 men (including 2 rescue workers). It has a population of 4,959.
Easington Colliery began when the pit was sunk in 1899, near the coast. Thousands of workers came to the area from all parts of Britain and with the new community came new shops, pubs, clubs, and many rows of terraced "colliery houses" for the mine workers and their families.
On 7 May 1993, the mine was closed, with the loss of 1,400 jobs, causing a decline in the local economy. The pit shaft headgear was demolished the following year.
The town's infant and junior schools, which are situated adjacently on Seaside Line, now lie derelict. A development company bought the buildings, built in 1911, in 2003 and applied for planning permission to build 39 residential units, but a public inquiry resulted in a ruling that protected the buildings from demolition.
Easington Colliery Brass Band
Easington Colliery Band was founded in 1913. Players with band experience were encouraged by the management to come from the West of Durham to work at the colliery and play in the band. The band was supported financially and run by the joint board of unions, until the start of World War II. The band played for community activities, such as dances, concerts, and competitions. For the duration of the war the Easington Colliery Youth Band became the National Fire Service Band, which was eventually 'demobbed' in 1945 to become the Easington Public Band.
In 1956 the Public Band and the Colliery Band amalgamated to become the Easington Colliery Band as it is today. April 1993 witnessed the end of an era when Easington Colliery finally closed. The band is now totally self-supporting and relies on the work put in by the band members at concerts throughout the year to raise the funds to keep the band alive. The band is still based in Easington Colliery in the old colliery pay office opposite the Memorial Gardens, which is on the site of the old colliery. The building is the last remaining evidence of the pit.
In popular culture
Easington Colliery provided the setting for the 2000 film Billy Elliot.
Singer-songwriter Jez Lowe was born and brought up in Easington. His song, "Last of the Widows", was written in 1991 to mark the fortieth anniversary of the pit disaster. Many of his other songs are inspired by life in County Durham and Easington in particular.
In 1971, members of rock band The Who shot the cover photograph for their album "Who's Next" at a concrete piling protruding from a spoil tip in the area. This cover was voted by the VH1 network as the second greatest album cover of all time.
In 2008, the town was featured in an episode of Channel 4's The Secret Millionaire, where advertising mogul Carl Hopkins donated over £30,000 to the community.
- Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Parish Headcounts : Easington Retrieved 2009-09-18
- "Firefighters tackle fire at derelict Easington Primary School" - The Northern Echo, 16 April 2012
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